Mark Tami: How she intends to strengthen working relationships between universities and industry.
Mark Tami: My hon. Friend may be aware of the training partnership between Deeside college, the North East Wales institute of higher education and Airbus in north Wales, but is he aware that the partnership trains hundreds of employees every year to a very high standard? Is not that a model from which industry and Government could learn? May I invite him to visit in the near future?
Mark Tami: Can you eat it?
Mark Tami: Does the hon. Lady accept that what we need is a level playing field? Will not small businesses that treat their staff properly consider that they are being penalised because of bad employers that do not grant reasonable leave to fathers?
Mark Tami: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Mark Tami: The Opposition claim to support this measure, so why have they tabled a new clause that would make it appear to employers that it was a temporary measure that would last only a year?
Mark Tami: The problem is that Labour Members find it very difficult to know what "now" means, because the concept seems to get shorter and shorter: the Opposition's policies change by the second, not even by the minute.
Mark Tami: indicated assent.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on employment levels in (a) Alyn and Deeside and (b) Wales.
Mark Tami: If the hon. Lady and her party are so fond of referendums, can she tell me how many referendums the Conservatives have given the British people?
Mark Tami: Clearly, under the hon. Gentleman's proposal there could be a narrow majority, perhaps of only one. That would be a difficult referendum. What would be his view if a referendum on the future of the Assembly were lost on that basis?
Mark Tami: rose—
Mark Tami: Like my hon. Friend, I support the introduction of the first-past-the-post system. Perhaps those who want a full single-transferable-vote system would give us an opportunity for the debate to take place. Few people are wedded to the current system. Many people on either side of the argument think that the system is badly flawed.
Mark Tami: I have had the same experience as my right hon. Friend. People at the count have asked me how many candidates we have had elected only to find out that, despite topping the poll, we have had none. That is the same for any political party. Clearly the longer this flawed system goes on, the more it will act as a disincentive for people to take part in the second vote. They think that a vote for...
Mark Tami: Does the hon. Lady acknowledge that we are accepting that, so far as this system is concerned, we have got it wrong, just as her own party seems to be accepting that it has got wrong everything that it ever believed in?
Mark Tami: As I pointed out on Second Reading, the Electoral Reform Society is not an independent organisation. It is an organisation that has set out to promote proportional representation for our system. Arguing that it is some sort of independent voice without its own agenda is totally false.
Mark Tami: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Mark Tami: If we take the hon. Gentleman's argument at face value, and accept that no one brings any work to the list Assembly Members, why do we give them an office in the first place?
Mark Tami: I would support the hon. Gentleman on such a measure, but we are not proposing that. Does he agree that, if we were, we might be open to the allegation he is making, because such a system would probably deliver a large majority for the Labour party? We have put in place a system that virtually guarantees seats for the opposition parties.
Mark Tami: On a point of order, Mrs. Heal. This speech does not appear to cover any of the matters that we should be covering. It seems to refer totally to some matter in Scotland.